The capital of Europe

Although not a very big city (compared to other major cities of Europe), its strategic position in world- and European affairs has made Brussels the Capital of Europe. Since moving here, I have felt this important state of the city everywhere: lots of official buildings, cars marked “CD” (Corps Diplomatique) and a lot of diplomats. The city however is also full of its cheerful local citizens and an even greater number of also cheerful tourists 🙂 .
The first thing I have visited in the city was of course it’s marvelous city center: Grand Place, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. The Gothic town hall is absolutely amazing :). The whole market and the surrounding little streets are filled with cafes and restaurants and of course bars. I have been to two bars for now: one is “Aux Corbes” with a great party after 11 o’clock, the other one was (on a different day of course 🙂 ) the “Delirium“, where, as they say, they have around a thousand types of beer…
The whole central area is also packed with fabulous cathedrals and churches like the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral for example (entry is free, so why not? 🙂 ).

Also if you are in the central are: do not miss the Manneken Pis: a little statue of a peeing boy, which has become a major tourist attraction and one of the symbols of Brussels. On this subject: there is also a little statue of a little girl peeing, called Jeanneke Pis near the Delirium…

Not far away from the city center is the Royal Palace (which can be visited freely until 4 o’clock daily), and next to it the City Park (Brussels Park). From the park one can easily reach the European official buildings (The Europen Parlament for example) or the Schumann area (or Europe District) with its modern, glass buildings.

From the European District the next park can be reached, the Cinquantenaire Park where the Cinquantenaire Arch is located. Next to the arch (on each side), there are two places to visit: Autoworld and the Military Museum (both covered in later posts).

Bruxelles is also famous for its International Expos. From the Expo ’58 a marvelous piece of architecture has still remained standing: The Atomium, which is a gigantic model of the unit cell of an iron crystal. One can go and visit most of the globes, which is pretty cool, for an entry price of €9.00.
Right next to the Atomium is a small park called Mini Europe with miniature replica’s of famous buildings of Europe (much like Madurodam). It is also an information point of facts about Europe. The entry price here is €12.90.

As one can see, the city is packed with exciting things to see and on top of that there are also a lot of festivals and shows: like the Beer Festival, which is held every year and is dedicated to Belgium’s most prized heritage: The Beer. So… this was just a taste of Brussels… more posts will probably follow about details 😉 .

Some of the pictures I have taken so far are on my Picasa account.

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